Clock Barn Hampshire and Galloping Gourmet

We went to visit The Clock Barn two weeks ago and price was within our budget and we loved it! 

It was only later when I saw the prices for Galloping Gourmet that I nearly had a heart attack! 

I've always wanted a Spit Roast, buffet but they are asking for £72 per head plus an additional £6 per person for a spit roast and all this is not including VAT or nibbles for the evening reception!

As my family are from a Muslim background but my fiances aren't we've decided to not actively serve alcohol during the wedding. but to have a bar open for the evening reception for those guests who would like a drink. With the no alcohol taken in to account, Galloping Gourmet wouldn't offer any reduction on the price. Even though their £72 package price was based on reception drinks for guests as well as wine for the meal. They were happy to replace with fruit juices and alternatives but didn't think this should impact their package cost.

Overall, i'm really disappointed that such a beautiful venue could be let down by over expensive caterers. I've no doubt in my mind that Galloping Gourmet don't have wonderful food and even if we *did* stretch to this cost - out of principle I don't feel comfortable parting with so much money for catering. 

That extra £3k / £4k here and there is the difference between a honeymoon, and a luxury out of this world honeymoon!

Has anyone else experienced this with wedding venues?



  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    I haven't had exactly the same but I have had to say no to a couple of venues (which are beautiful) because they only have one caterer and they are extortionate! Some of my family are Muslim too and the cheap wedding food options are pork - hog roasts, evening bacon sarnies etc.I think it is disgusting that the caterer wouldn't offer a reduction though. Have you talked to the venue regarding this?!?! I don't think they'd be keen to miss out on a booking just because the caterer is being narrow-minded about it!

    Let us know how you get on! The venue looks amazing by the way!

  • RubyRuby Posts: 5

    Yep, it was bizarre - my email to Clock Barn was:

    "Michael and I visited the Clock Barn and as you know, confirmed the 20th September 2014. Unfortunately after speaking to your catering company, Galloping Gourmet we're afraid we're now going to have to cancel.

      Having spoken to the team, I found the prices to be extortionate and far above average than any other catering company I've been in touch with throughout this process. The prices given to us are too far out of our budget, even without VAT included.    It's also a shame that Galloping Gourmet weren't willing to reduce the cost of the packages, considering that we have no alcohol served at our wedding for cultural reasons.    We would be more than happy to continue with our venue booking, only if we were allowed different caterers. I'm not sure if this is something you would consider but it is a shame that such a beautiful venue would be let down by the caterers.   Do let me know if you're willing to take the above into consideration. If so, we'd love to go ahead with the venue booking deposit."   They then came back with:   "Sorry for the delayed response, it’s been manic here.

    I’m sorry to hear that you are unable to go ahead with your Booking at Clock Barn.

    Galloping gourmet food is incredible, I’ve had it many times and it really is exquisite.  I know Natalie has run through all the options and prices with you and even though we don’t suit your requirements we are unable to offer another caterer.

    I know the Galloping Gourmet team are more than happy to run through everything again if you wish and please let me know if you have any other questions or if I can be of any further help."


    It's unfortunate as I have spoken to Galloping Gourmet about the price (esp no alcohol) 3 times now but their stock response is that those costs per head are just the package price and wouldn't be affected if we took drinks out of the equation.

    We've since been in touch with Lillibrooke Manor and Ambassador Catering whos prices seem a lot better (as well as their cultural understanding).

    Gutted though, I would have booked Clock Barn without a second though if it wasn't for their caterers.... 

  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    That's unbelievable. I can't believe people can be like that! I'm so sorry. I would be so mad!!

  • DreambrideDreambride Posts: 394

    Hi Ruby, I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but I feel I have to comment in their defence - especially as this is your first post....

    I only have positive things to say about Galloping Gourmet who provided the catering at our wedding 3 weeks ago at Gaynes Park.  They are not cheap, no, but other venues we looked at locally were charging £100 per head which is a lot more.  They were fantastic in the run up to our wedding and really bent over backwards with our fussy eaters and many dietary requirements and yes, they did make changes to aspects of the menu that we didn't like and let us mix and match to fit our tight budget (something they don't normally do).  All our guests said it was the best food they had ever had at a wedding!

    You do normally get given brochures with the catering costs/opportunity to disucss with the planner when you view venues so surprised how you missed this!  Venues have to charge a certain amount to meet their costs/pay staff etc you said they did offer to give you other food/drink items in place of the alcohol so they have tried to accommodate you/your culture as is not part of their typical package.



  • Thats a shame, the venue weve decided to go ahead with have their own caterers, so you havent got a choice, but I think it will work out approx £40 per head and they seem really accomodating.

    The other venue we really liked, and where we had chosen originally didnt have dedicated caterers, but had a recommended list of them and the quotes for a 3 course sit down meal for 100 varied hugely from £28 per head - £60 per head, with very little difference in the menu options, infact the cheaper one came highly recommended and gave the most choice.

    As lovely as the clock house may be, if theyre that rigid, perhaps your better off elsewere, theres lots of beautiful venues out there that are more accomodating.

  • Also, they will be saving money by not serving alcohol, so at the very least should have removed that from their costing. Fruit Juice and water are a lot cheaper than a reception drink and wine during the meal, think how much they would be saving pp

  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    Where are you getting married Trouble and Strife? (I think I might have already asked you this so apologies in advance!)

    I agree, fruit juice and soft drinks are sooooo much cheaper. I don't care how amazing their food is, if a catering company can't see that then they're not worth the hassle.

    You will find something you're happy with. You shoudn't have to compromise too much especially on something like that.

  • Im getting married at Swallows Oast in East Sussex, but was originally going to get married at Bartholomews barn in West Sussex -we loved that one, but weve been together so long (it will be 12 years by the time we get round to it) and we have children etc so Im reluctant to spend too much when I just want a laid back ceremony followed by a party and Swallows oast was half the cost for venue hire image

  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    Sorry you had told me, because I then said it was a bit far away for me! But it is lovely! I really like Bartholomews Barn as well but I really want a separate ceremony room and reception room so I'm not sure.

    (Sorry Ruby we've completely hijacked this thread!)

  • RubyRuby Posts: 5

    Hey Dream Bride,

    I think you misunderstood my point.

    I've absolutely no doubt in my mind that Galloping Gourmet's food isn't exquisite. Everyone has different budgets but unfortunately they add up to be out of our range.

    The problem is, that every other caterer I've spoken with since has accounted for no alcohol within the price which has bought costs of the packages down. In fact, even the lady who showed us around Clock Barn asked us to speak to Galloping Gourmet as having no alcohol may affect the price!

    It's just a shame, and off putting that Galloping Gourmet weren't willing to budge even slightly on the package cost considering the above.

    Aside from this, I don't wish to put anyone off on the standard of their food! I'm sure it's fantastic - so if you can afford them, go go for it image

    And no worries Kitten! image


  • FranitaFranita Posts: 487

    Ruby, I had a similar disappointing experience finding Galloping Gourmet expensive and inflexible, which made me cancel my appointment even to view Curradine Barns as a potential venue as I knew they were the only caterer used there. In my email cancelling the appointment I stated the catering as the main reason for us not considering it.

    While the day guest options looked lovely and actually quite reasonably price (don't get me wrong, we are not scrimping on food), the evening buffet prices were extortionate - if I recall, we were appalled that they could charge £8/head just for sausage rolls and pasties, with everything else, hotdogs and steak sandwiches for example, more around the £17-20/head region!

    We wanted a cheese wedding cake too and they wouldn't let us provide our own - but rather than them costing it by size we would have had to buy it from them at a cost of £15/head.  Now I love cheese but over I don't love it £1,000 enough.

    The fact that Galloping Gourmet are not reducing the price when they are not providing the wine included is a total p*ss take.  In my opinion they are the sort of supplier that takes advantage of the W word to rip people off.  So my advice, since you have fed back to the venue like I did (I never even received a response from Curradine Barns!) is to keep looking and you will find something better (we are certainly glad we did). Luckily we now have a fab venue with a caterer that is by royal appointment!

    In fact I have my wedding tasting this evening - can't wait! image

  • RubyRuby Posts: 5

    Hey Franita, so glad to hear you've found another venue and caterer image

    I wonder how many venues have lost bookings from having over priced caterers such as Galloping Gourmet.... It's sad to think so many beautiful venues are let down in this way. 

    You're spot on about the evening buffet prices. It starts at £8 and that's just for their "light bites" option with sausage rolls. Hot Dogs at £17 per head! 



  • FranitaFranita Posts: 487

    Haha I know, I was absolutely appalled - a hot dog had better be pretty damn special to be £17, and by that I mean served with a glass of champagne and a foot rub!

    It's the venues' fault too though to be honest - as they are in the position to put pressure on these ridiculous and greedy prices!  But yes they must have lost a lot of business that way - as we are just two random people who they have lost through one same caterer this year! Tut, does make me angry!

  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    So where have you gone for instead Franita? 

  • FranitaFranita Posts: 487

    We booked Compton Verney House near Stratford upon Avon instead - Aubrey Allen are the caterers and I'm so looking forward to sampling our menu this evening!

  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    Oh wow that place looks amazing! Have a fantastic tasting session!

  • FranitaFranita Posts: 487

    Ah thanks - we loved it, and it's got great indoor options for photos around the art gallery (which is important as we are getting married in December so aren't expecting good weather!)  The caterers have a great reputation so I have high hopes for this evening!

  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    Have you found anywhere else Ruby?

  • I've booked our venue and galloping gourmet come with the venue.

    at first I was told they would be accommodating and helpful. 


    So far I have found them to be uncooperative, unhelpful and quite frankly hard work


    i wish they didn't come with our venue. They are expensive and inflexible 

  • Our wedding is booked at Mythe Barn next year. We fell in love with the venue, and were sold on all the good reviews regarding Galloping gourmet. However, we have already started to have trouble with them. 

    Not only are they really expensive but unhelpful. They have offered 1 date for the tasting, which I cannot attend. And all they can offer is for me to spend £150 on a private tasting or sending someone in my place. I just think with the amount we are going to spend a tasting is the least they can do. 

    We have tried many times, but have received unhelpful comments. I agree expensive and unhelpful. I have told the venue how dissatisfied I am with their service so far and would have not booked if we knew this in the first place. 

  • The venues get a huge kick back from the big catering companies that is why they recommend them image

    The caterer in question employee many staff and chefs, they are not exclusive to the venue so you may find the chef who caters at your tasting is not the chef who is in charge on your wedding day as they may be allocated to a different venue that day or even have left!

  • Jo69Jo69 Posts: 1

    Update - Galloping Gourmet are absolutely awful. I wouldn't recommend using any venue that uses them for catering.

    they have been so unhelpful and bordering on rude. They put all of their effort in to wowing people at open days and food tastings but the service you get via phone and email etc is utterly terrible. 

    We recently attended the food tasting and the food was not the quality I would expect for the prices they charge

    very disappointed overall and feel that they have really tainted our wedding

  • I have to agree with the comment above - please avoid using Galloping Gourmet.  As above they falsely claim your day will be totally looked after and that the wedding party will have nothing to worry about on the day.  I'm afraid we experienced the complete opposite and our day was spoilt by Galloping Gourmet's poor service and lack of steering the day.  Table plans were not executed to our wishes, there were not enough canapes, the wedding planner seemed to hide away and had to be found by staff when things were not going to plan (frequently throughout the day).  My mother and father stepped in to try and organise the day, but this is not what I had planned for them, I wanted them to just enjoy the day.

    We were extremely disappointed and as Jo said above, they tainted our wedding day. 

  • KatyMKatyM Posts: 32

    I know this is an old thread but have just come across it as we are having catering by Galloping Gourmet too - again only as our venue is forcing us! We also found their costs to be extortionate but we loved the venue so much, like others have said any venues run by Galloping Gourmet don't allow other caterers. I have read about how inflexible they are, it's such a shame as they seem to have nabbed the nicest venues, each venue must have in their contract that no other caterers can be used. I know Galloping Gourmet are linked to 'Country House Wedding Venues' and do more than just supply the catering, they run all of the wedding events & planning too.


    Has anyone used them recently and had any more positive experiences?

  • A16A16 Posts: 15 New bride

    Our catering is also with Galloping Gourmet, so far though we’ve only had positive experiences. They’ve been accommodating with tasting events and planning meetings as well. They’ve only said no to one of our requests and that’s because the owners of our venues have said no. It would be interesting to know what venues others have been with, perhaps this is also a link? 

  • Had the exact same thing with Bury Court Barn in Hampshire which also use Galloping Gourmet as their Caterers! I loved the Barn and couldn't believe it when we got the quote through from the Caterers! I sent a similar e-mail! We have now booked with a lovely hotel venue that offers an all in package - seems a lot less hassle for us and I like knowing exactly what we are getting for the money... so many hidden costs with using external caterers! Good luck x

  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,475 New bride

    My sister used GG at Rivervale Barn, and they were really happy with them.  I have a friend who is at Morden Hall in August and she hasn't said anything negative about them and said the tasting was incredible.  

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